PURSUING JUSTICE by Ken Wytsma – A Review

Two months into my quest to serve the less fortunate last year I attended Ken Wytsma’s brain child, The Justice Conference. To say that it rocked my life is an understatement. The weekend was my “Matrix.” I arrived as Neo and Wytsma stood as my Morpheus. I took the red pill.

Closing the book after the last chapter of Wytsma’s (with D.R. Jacobsen) latest work, Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things, I believe he slipped me another pill.

Pages of Pursuing Justice fill my brain with reminders of our world’s injustice as well as new-to-me information. I can’t un-know what I know. To do nothing with this knowledge would only add to the intolerance.

I’m not alone. Wytsma writes, “People are hungry for justice. They want justice for those they know who are suffering injustice. They want it for themselves and for their communities. They want to practice justice, experience justice, and know God through the universal quality of justice. These things are what God wants too.”

Social justice carries around the label of “trendy” lately. And maybe it is. If the 80’s were about self-indulgence and the 90’s were about self-pity, maybe this new millennium is about self-fulfillment. What better way to boast a self-fulfilled life than to make sure we live each day with meaning?

“…pursuing justice is pursuing happiness.” he encourages, speaking of reasons to do good, “It’s personal—doing justice fulfills our deepest longings and leads to peace and joy.”
I can preach about the previous statement. Volunteering with, serving for, and working along side those less fortunate than myself always leaves me more fulfilled. Always. Even on days I don’t want to do anything but sit on the couch channel flipping while ordering my kids to unload the dishwasher.
Wytsma writes about the process of service, of sacrifice. With our families, with our culture,  our neighborhoods and towns, with the world. And yes, taking it all in is quite overwhelming. Yet instead of feeling beaten down, I am inspired. 
“What gifts has God given you? What ways can you bring joy and peace to people? What relationships are you in?”
“Start small. Value others. Focus more on your responsibilities and less on your rights.”
Wytsma’s words will change your mindset. 
As a bonus, interspersed with the book’s chapters are Interludes; quips from various authors and artists passionate about a just planet. These compilations served as beautiful promptings to challenge my daily living.

Pursuing Justice won’t only take a place on my bookshelf, it takes a place in my soul. “Justice is about knowing God as much as it is about serving God.” 

I’m ready to lose my life so that I may find it abundantly.

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